Allegations of a checkered financial past were not enough to keep Christine O’Donnell from a surprise victory in Tuesday’s Republican Senate primary in Delaware. But as the Tea-Party-backed candidate enters the general election and the national spotlight, the trickle of accusations, from unpaid student debts and income taxes to IRS liens and improperly used campaign funds, has become a steady stream.
O’Donnell, a former marketing executive and conservative pundit, has twice before run for Senate and lost, leaving in her wake a lengthy paper trail. Her defeat of Mike Castle, a longtime Republican congressman heavily favored to win, has earned her enemies in both the Democratic and Republican parties, all of whom are digging into her financial history looking for mud to sling.
Just before voters went to go the polls, Delaware residents received a robocall, paid for by the state’s Republican party. It was a recorded message from O’Donnell’s 2008 campaign manager, Kristin Murray, alleging that O’Donnell “was living on campaign donations — using them for rent and personal expenses, while leaving her workers unpaid and piling up thousands in debt. She wasn’t concerned about conservative causes. O’Donnell just wanted to make a buck.”